Security News KDE advises extreme caution after theme wipes Linux user's files


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Apr 24, 2016
On Wednesday, the KDE team warned Linux users to exercise "extreme caution" when installing global themes, even from the official KDE Store, because these themes run arbitrary code on devices to customize the desktop's appearance.

The KDE Store currently allows anyone to upload new themes and various other plugins or add-ons without any checks for malicious behavior.

However, as KDE said, it currently lacks the resources to review the code used by each global theme submitted for inclusion in its official store. If the themes are faulty or malicious, this can result in unexpected consequences.

"Global themes and widgets created by 3rd party developers for Plasma can and will run arbitrary code. You are encouraged to exercise extreme caution when using these products," KDE cautioned.

"Global themes do not only change the look of Plasma, but also the behavior. To do this they run code, and this code can be faulty, as in the case mentioned above. The same goes for widgets and plasmoids."

Code execution is needed because global themes are designed to change everything on a Plasma desktop, from icons to windows decorations, lock screens, splash screens, wallpapers, color schemes, and so on, using executable bash scripts.

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